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Monday, March 12, 2007

"I Want To Reduce My Energy Usage, But Where Do I Start?"

This is a question that many people have asked, especially once they see Al Gore's film. But, where do you start? If you have already installed compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), where do you go next?

Posting by Gregg Dinino on the Sustainable Energy Alliance Online Community (click here to view the post) directed readers to the "Home Energy Saver" calculator. This website is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and helps people identify ways to reduce energy usage in their homes and provide assistance to getting the work completed.

The calculator is the primary focus of this website (click here to go to the calculator). After entering your zip code, there is a questionnaire that takes about 3 minutes to complete. Questions range from the size of your house to the type of heating and cooling you use to the number of windows in the house.

The result is an estimate of your current energy bill and the projected reduced bill if recommended upgrades are completed.

The Existing Home bar shows your estimated annual energy spending and the categories (heating, cooling, lighting, etc). The "with Selected Upgrades" bar shows how you can reduce each category and save money.

This calculation is interesting, but the best part of this site is the list of options available, including estimated costs, and the specific comments about how to implement each. The information includes Economic Benefits, Additional Benefits, Upgrade Description, Purchasing Tips, and More Information. Click here to view my report.

This list is long, but doable. The important thing to realize is that that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Make a list, hang it on your refrigerator, and start crossing them on one by one.

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